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New York School Districts Select Linux Desktops

Designed To Bring 1:1 Student/Computer Access Into The Classroom

Students in upstate New York have moved one step closer to having a computer at every desk thanks to a pilot program using Linux desktops from Novell on Intel-based computers. Designed to increase student engagement and awareness among students that they are part of a connected global community, the pilot program is aimed at delivering an Internet-connected computer to every student.

 This new program will significantly increase computing resources at school while still controlling costs. Ultimately, some 80,000 students in the Rome City School District and other schools supported by the Madison Oneida Regional Information Center could benefit. As a result, students will gain technology skills and a new research tool that will improve their learning experience.

"This Linux early adoption initiative is a cooperative effort between the Mohawk Regional Information Center and the Rome City School District. The Mohawk Regional Information Center is one of 12 Regional Information Centers serving school districts in New York State. The Mohawk Regional Information Center serves a total of 54 school districts and four Board of Cooperative Educations Services (BOCES) -- Herkimer-Hamilton-Fulton-Otsego, Jefferson-Lewis, Madison-Oneida and Oneida-Herkimer-Madison. The center provides school districts with access to state-of-the-art technology services, training, research and expertise, as well as support for teachers, students and administrators. The initial pilot project is happening at the Rome City School District.

As part of the pilot, the school will make available to students Intel processor-based laptops running Linux desktops from Novell, which include the OpenOffice 2.0 productivity suite for word processing, presentations and spreadsheets. The school will run Novell Open Enterprise Server for file and print services and Novell ZENworks Linux Management to manage the environment. Teachers in the pilot program will be trained on the desktop to ensure students can move quickly to use the technology. Novell partner Synergy Global Solutions, a local technology partner of the Mohawk Regional Information Center, was actively involved in promoting the program and offers services to assist in the implementation. In addition, InTech Solutions, a local Novell training partner, will provide training for the participating teachers.

"Linux on the desktop offers compelling value for schools, which face permanent budget challenges," said Susan Heystee, president of Novell Americas. "With the Linux desktop from Novell, students get all the tools they need to do their work and the IT staff get a solid, secure, easy-to-manage platform -- all at a fraction of the cost of the alternatives. Not surprisingly, we're seeing increasing interest in the education sector in Linux on the desktop."

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